John Riceburg: Gender trouble in German



Comments (6)

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why don't we just reduce everything to txt/emoticon-speak?

...or maybe you're just not that good with languages?

:-P more than 2 years ago


if the goal is to streamline the language, use the male nouns, as they are shorter.

n088 more than 2 years ago

Old school, new school, no school.

The German language seems 'old school' bc it is a very old language - just as the (RP-) English. There are quite a lot difficult and 'inconvenient' languages out there, such as the Polish lang. It is far more difficult to learn Polish (than German) since it has a different ending for every situation, location, person and so on. Gender equality oughta happen in our daily lives - not by changing an old & historical language. Oral culture is changing anyway. Spanglish, Denglish (...) We can be thankful for the English language as it is the easiest language to learn. I would however never arrogate myself to demand a change in a foreign language just bc I find it old fashion.

Leela more than 2 years ago


Isn't a person's name the main signal of someone's gender? John is usually a male name. You should probably change it to John*in.

Seymour Gris more than 2 years ago

He/she, er/sie, etc..

Anna, instead of "patching" them, it is perhaps time to get rid of all gender specifications from the languages. Look at the Turkish language for example. There is no he or she, er or sie, Journalist or Journalistin.

Onur more than 2 years ago

Künstler Punkt.

I never quite understood the reason of always having to specify that I am a female artist - Künstlerin. In my mother tounge Swedish, it is simply "Musician". People who have eyes will probably notice that I am a woman, but it doesn't necessarily have anything to do with my profession.

Recently Sweden added a new word "hen" to its official glossary, not exactly the same topic but related

"it can be used when the gender of a person is not known or when it is not desirable to specify them as either a "she" or "he" "

It will be interesting to see if any similar changes will happen in languages around the world in the (near) furure. In my mind the German language often feels quite old school..

Anna more than 2 years ago

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